Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor will go down as one of the most bitter feuds ever witnessed around the sport of MMA. Despite Nurmagomedov walking away from the sport last year, the pair continue to verbally spar across the internet leading to fears that more ugly scenes between the Dubliner and the Dagestani may materialize at some point in the future.
The newest chapter in their rivalry comes on the heels of McGregor’s latest defeat to Dustin Poirier. At UFC 264 in July McGregor had his leg snapped by Poirier and needed a stretcher to get out of the cage.
Soon after that TKO loss, ‘The Eagle’ took to Twitter to proclaim that “good always defeats evil.”
Weeks later McGregor responded to this, tweeting (and then deleting) a post that asked, “Covid is good and father is evil?”
This taunt relates to the fact that Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap, passed away from COVID-19 last year.
TMZ Sports ambushed Nurmagomedov, stuck a camera in his face, and asked if he thought that McGregor’s tweet “crossed the line”.
“I think so,” he responded. Nurmagomedov and his team, clearly perturbed by TMZ’s presence, then turned away from the camera. As they did the operator yelled to Nurmagomedov to ask what he thought of McGregor’s behaviour.
“Terrible,” was the only response.
During the brief ‘interview’ Nurmagomedov also emphatically stated he would not return to fighting. He was also asked if he thought McGregor would return after his injury. “I don’t know,” he answered; with a tone that also suggested he didn’t care.
Nurmagomedov and McGregor’s rivalry can be tracked back to an encounter between ‘The Eagle’ and McGregor’s friend Artem Lobov in 2018. That confrontation lead to McGregor and a group of friends attacking a UFC 223 media event and McGregor throwing a metal dolly through the window of a bus containing Nurmagomedov and other UFC fighters.
The pair were then booked to fight at UFC 229. After weeks of distasteful trash talk, McGregor was beaten and eventually submitted by Nurmagomedov in the fourth round of their fight. Immediately after the win Nurmagomedov launched himself from the cage to start a brawl with McGregor’s team.
After that incident Nurmagomedov went on to defend his lightweight title versus Poirier and Justin Gaethje before calling it a career. Since losing to Nurmagomedov McGregor beat Donald Cerrone and then lost twice to Poirier.